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Trade with Heterogeneous Beliefs


  • Elchanan Ben-Porath



The paper analyzes an economy with asymmetric information in which agents trade in contingent assets. The new feature in the model is that each agent may have any prior belief on the states of nature and thus the posterior belief of an agent maybe any probability distribution that is consistent with his private information. We study two solution concepts: Equilibrium, which assumes rationality and market clearing, and common knowledge equilibrium (CKE) which makes the stronger assumption that rationality, market clearing, and the parameters which de?ne the economy are common knowledge. The two main results characterize the set of equilibrium prices and the set of CKE prices in terms of parameters which specify for each state s and event E the amount of money in the hands of agents who know the event E at the state s. The characterizations that are obtained apply to a broad class of preferences which include all preferences that can be represented by the expectation of a state dependent monotone utility function. One implication of these results is a characterization of the information that is revealed in a CKE.

Suggested Citation

  • Elchanan Ben-Porath, 2007. "Trade with Heterogeneous Beliefs," Discussion Paper Series dp462, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp462

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Morris, "undated". ""Justifying Rational Expectations''," CARESS Working Papres 95-04, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    2. Dutta, Jayasri & Morris, Stephen, 1997. "The Revelation of Information and Self-Fulfilling Beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 231-244, March.
    3. Radner, Roy, 1979. "Rational Expectations Equilibrium: Generic Existence and the Information Revealed by Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 655-678, May.
    4. Elchanan Ben-Porath & Aviad Heifetz, 2005. "Rationalizable Expectations," Economics Working Papers 0057, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
    5. Kreps, David M., 1977. "A note on "fulfilled expectations" equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 32-43, February.
    6. Morris, Stephen, 1994. "Trade with Heterogeneous Prior Beliefs and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1327-1347, November.
    7. R. Guesnerie, 2002. "Anchoring Economic Predictions in Common Knowledge," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 439-480, March.
    8. Gabriel Desgranges, 2000. "CK-Equilibria and Informational Efficiency in a Competitive Economy," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1296, Econometric Society.
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